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Events and News from Borderlands Books

December, 2013

Chapter One - Event Information, News, and Special Features

Editor's Note - You may be aware that we have a blog where this newsletter also appears <>.  At the end of major features in this newsletter you'll find permanent links to the same item on our blog.  These links can be convenient if you want to send just a single article or if you'd like to link to it from your website.

Upcoming Author Events

Borderlands takes a break from events between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the new year, but we'll be back in January, 2014 with a bunch of great new authors, readings and signings!

Helene Wecker, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI (Harper, Hardcover, $26.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) Monday, January 6th at 7:00 pm

Cassie Alexander, DEADSHIFTED (St. Martin's, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, Janauary 11th at 3:00 pm

Richard Kadrey, DEAD SET (HarperVoyager, Hardcover, $22.99) Sunday, January 12th at 3:00 pm

Rudy Rucker Art Show premiere and event for THE BIG AHA! (Transreal Press, Trade Paperback, $16.00) Friday, January 17th

Scott Sigler, PANDEMIC (Crown, Hardcover, $26.00) Saturday, January 18th at 3:00 pm

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* In 1963, 75 famous novelists (including Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury) replied to a 16-year-old's questions about symbolism in their work. The results are fascinating!

* Okay, about to link to some SUPER-CREEPY NIGHTMARE BAIT, so if you're easily freaked out out, give this one a miss.  You have been warned.

* Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan have been getting a lot of attention for their current production of "Waiting for Godot" in New York.  (A friend saw them and says that the production was amazing and he never wants to see another version, lest it tarnish his perfect vision!)  We know they're both incredible actors, but what did they look like, shirtless, in the 1970's? found out:

* In further Patrick Stewart news, witness the most marvelous, geekiest, seasonally apropos thing I have seen in ages: "Let it Snow" as done by "Star Trek: The Next Generation":

* And, the last "Star Trek" note for this month: watch Nichelle Nichols talk about the amazing Trekkie who convinced her not to leave the show:

* Congratulations to author Samuel Delany, whom the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America have named the recipient of the 2013 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award for his contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.

* Free Philip K. Dick stories for download (only within the US, unfortunately) at this address: .  (We're pretty sure they come from Project Gutenberg, but aren't positive about their copyright status.  Caveat downloader.)

* Book Donations: A few months ago, Alan asked for suggestions about places to donate books.  He didn't imagine that we would get so many thoughtful and useful replies.  Aside from information about where to donate, he received one suggestion that he should collect the information gathered in this newsletter as a reference for other folks out there who wanted to donate books.  We think that's a fine idea and so below you'll find that list, along with some comments from him.  We hope that it is useful.

Hospitals -
SF General Hospital (volunteer office 206-8193)
Laguna Honda Hospital (volunteer services 759-3333)
VA Hospital (Tommy Mendoza 415 750-2144)
For transportation reasons, most hospitals prefer small size paperbacks (i.e. "mass market" size).

Juvenile Probation Department
375 Woodside Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127
Phone: (415) 753-7800
(I haven't had time to get in touch with these folks yet but, based on what I've heard, they will only accept softcover books without "adult" content.  That standard also applies to other correctional institutions.)

The Global Book Exchange
(Their specialty is books for children, young adults and teens (i.e. grades K through 12th).  Unlike many places, they accept textbooks.  It seems that all textbooks up to high-school level are needed, as well as college text books published after 2001.  They also need fiction for children and young adults.)

The American Library Association maintains this list of international donation organizations that can be helpful as well.

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide

Since Hanukkah being incredibly early basically caught me by surprise this year, we made gift recommendations in the store in person, in mid-November, A LOT.  This is helpful currently, as I am putting together the woefully-belated Gift Guide that really should have come out a month ago.  For those of you who give gifts later in the year, hopefully this will be of assistance.  (A note to those of you purchasing presents: we're happy to gift wrap upon request, although our typical caveats apply: first, if we're busy, you may have to wait a bit to have things wrapped, and, second, some staff members are much better than others at it.  It is possible that your package may resemble a brightly wrapped Lovecraft-ian, batrachian, rugose, Thing of No Human Shape.  For some customers, this is not a problem . . ."better than I can do!," they say.  However, if you are concerned about our, ahem, abilities, we're also happy to just hand you the gift wrap, scissors and tape.)

Gift-giving or not, we're always happy to make custom recommendations -- just ask us.

All of us at Borderlands wish you and your loved ones a terrific winter season and hope for a fantastic and peaceful new year!

- Jude Feldman, editor.

Lots of Recommendations:

One of my favorite new books is Allie Brosh's HYPERBOLYE AND A HALF: UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS, FLAWED COPING MECHANISMS, AND OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED (Touchstone, Trade Paperback, $17.99).  This is not a genre title at all, and normally we wouldn't carry it, but something funny happened.  I ordered several copies of this book, intending to purchase one for myself and the rest to give as gifts.  I was out of town when they arrived, and they accidentally ended up the shelf, where they sold.  I ordered additional copies, and those sold, too, before I could get my copies.  So we shrugged and decided to bring in more copies.  If you or a loved one are unfamiliar with Allie Brosh's brilliant, hilarious, pathos-filled webcomic, you can remedy that deficiency in your life immediately, and I recommend you do so.

S.: INCLUDES LOOSE PAGE INSERTS CONTRIBUTING TO THE STORY by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams (Mulholland, Hardcover, $35.00) continues to fly off the shelves.  This is a mind-bending meta-narrative for fans of HOUSE OF LEAVES.

THE CIRCLE by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, Hardcover, $27.95) is one of Cary's new favorites.  A scary and believable dystopian novel about a mammoth tech company and the darkest sides of social media and the "transparent society".

DOCTOR SLEEP by Stephen King (Scribner, Hardcover, $30.00) Jeremy says that this sequel to THE SHINING is simply fantastic and contains lots of cameos and Easter eggs for careful King readers.

THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES by Scott Lynch (Spectra, Hardcover, $27.00) The long-awaited third novel in the Gentlemen Bastards series takes things up several notches.  REPUBLIC is more complex, polished and nuanced that the previous two novels, so now we just have to wait patiently for number 4!

IN THE COMPANY OF THIEVES by Kage Baker (Tachyon, Trade Paperback, $14.95) - RIP Kage Baker, one of my very favorite writers, who passed away in 2010.  This volume collects "the rest of" the short stories about The Company, a nearly-omnipotent 24th century company who have perfected both time travel and an immortality process.  They send operatives back in time to collect children who historically died, and make them into immortal workers for The Company, salvaging treasures "lost" to history, but in fact sold to far-future collectors. This volume includes a previously unpublished story.

Possibly my favorite discovery of 2013 is Colin Cotterill, a mystery writer who lives in Thailand.  I'm late to the party with Cotterill, who currently has two series, one of which is very good, and the other of which I'm absolutely an evangelist for.  The good series begins with KILLED AT THE WHIM OF A HAT (Minotaur, Trade Paperback, $14.99) and follows an ambitious Thai journalist who has just moved to a crumbling seaside resort in the back of nowhere with her crazy family.   Each chapter beings with a cringe-inducing quote from George W. Bush, also the source of the title, from a 2004 speech.  (". . . [F]ree societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat. . . .") The second series, which I've been urging all of my friends to read, starts with THE CORONER'S LUNCH, (Soho Crime, Trade Paperback, $14.00), takes place in 1978 Laos, and concerns the newly-appointed 72-year-old National Coroner Dr. Siri Paiboun.  Siri, a Paris-trained doctor, and for years a dedicated Communist guerrilla, was looking forward to a peaceful retirement.  Instead it's "Congratulations, Comrade!" and a post he's not really qualified for and never wanted.  So, Dr. Siri and his marvelous misfit friends at the morgue solve crimes amid the rampant corruption and ridiculous bureaucracy in these darkly humorous mysteries.  I've been recommending them to everyone.

As it's year-end, we have calendars galore.  There's something for every taste, from zombies to fairies to steampunk to astronomy and back again.  Any of them would make a great gift.

If you're looking for something classic, we have absolutely gorgeous Canterbury Classics leatherbound gift editions of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, Lewis Carroll and Sherlock Holmes.  You won't believe they're only $24.95 each.

We also have more modern classics, like DUNE by Frank Herbert (Ace, Hardcover, $29.95), GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Morrow, Hardcover, $29.99), THE ILLUSTRATED PRINCESS BRIDE by William Goldman (Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, $25.00), almost a dozen different editions of THE HOBBIT by JRR Tolkien, GAME OF THRONES by George RR Martin (Bantam, Hardcover, $35.00), and many, many others in handsome hardcover format.

Speaking of Mr. Martin, if you or someone you care about is suffering from GAME OF THRONES withdrawal while we all wait for the next book, consider trying THE BLADE ITSELF by Joe Abercrombie (Pyr, Trade Paperback, $17.00), GARDENS OF THE MOON by Steven Erikson (Tor, Mass Market, $8.99), THE FALLEN BLADE by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by H.K. Jemisin, or THE STEEL REMAINS by Richard Morgan (Del Rey, Trade Paperback, $16.00).  They're all excellent and will help to diminish the craving.

Looking for a great science fiction anthology?  THE SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME VOL. 1, edited by Robert Silverberg should be in everyone's library.  I would also suggest  21st CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION edited by David G. Hartwell and Patrick Neilsen Hayden (Tor, Hardcover, 2013), which just came out.  

For the space opera fan in your life, try WITH THE LIGHTNINGS by David Drake (Baen, Mass Market, $7.99), (the first book in my favorite series of the genre,) or WORLDS OF WEBER by David Weber (Subterranean Press, Hardcover, $45.00), which is an Honor Harrington short story collection.

What about the horror fans?  Check out NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (William Morrow, Trade Paperback, $17.99), which even has a (terrifying) Christmas theme, SLIGHTS by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot, Mass Market, $7.99) (sincerely messed up), or THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland, Hardcover, $26.00), about a time-travelling serial killer. INFECTED by Scott Sigler (Crown, Hardcover, $24.95 or Trade Paperback, $14.99) is the start of a frightening trilogy that finishes up with PANDEMIC, which is due next month.  Scott will even sign and inscribe the book for you!

How about urban fantasy?  Perhaps DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON by Seanan McGuire (DAW, Mass Market, $7.99), or SANDMAN SLIM by Richard Kadrey is the way to go?  (Incidentally, you can also get inscribed copies of any of Seanan's or Richard's in-print books from us - just call us for details.)  I'm also nuts about MIDNIGHT RIOT by Ben Aaronovitch (Ballantine, Mass Market, $7.99) and THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Mike Carey (Grand Central, Mass Market, $7.99).  (Unfortunately, we can't have either of those signed for you, because the authors live in the UK.)

Here's some just plain good stuff in no particular order: THE LAST POLICEMAN by Ben Winters (Quirk, Trade Paperback, $14.95), PANDEMONIUM by Daryl Gregory (Del Rey, Trade Paperback, $14.00),  HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH DEMONS by Graham Joyce (Night Shade Books, Trade Paperback, $14.95), A STRANGER IN OLONDRIA by Sofia Samatar, (Small Beer Press, Trade Paperback, $16.00),  THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS by Karen Lord (Del Rey, Hardcover, $25.00) and THE HYDROGEN SONATA (Orbit, Trade Paperback, $17.00) by the late, great Iain M. Banks.

I you're having difficulty deciding, ask us for help with recommendations, or you could pick up a gift certificate and let them choose for themselves!

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From The Office

There are many differences between national retailers and local businesses.  (By the way, don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a call that you should shop locally this holiday season).  One difference is that small businesses tend to see other businesses as allies and as an important part of the fabric of their locality, rather than as competitors.  Booksellers especially see their fellows that way, even if you can make a very good argument that they _are_ competitors.

That's why I'm asking you to take a trip out to Berkeley and visit Dark Carnival < >.

Jack Rems opened Dark Carnival in 1976 when he was only 21.  As someone who has spent a fair amount of time jumping from profession to profession (four total as of now), I admire the hell out of someone who, so early, picked something that works for them.  Even more I admire that Jack has stuck with it.  The last few years have been extremely hard for any small business and even harder for a small bookstore.  But stick with it he has.

He also stepped up to the plate when it looked like Berkeley was going to lose the legendary comic book store, Comic Relief.  Jack opened another business (in 2011, for gods' sake, when the financial sky was still falling), Escapist Comics <>, and took much of the inventory and staff from Comic Relief.

If you've never been to Dark Carnival, it's a treat.  In some ways it is the polar opposite of Borderlands.  It's unbelievably cluttered and crowded.  It's not very clearly organized.  And it's hard to navigate.  But none of that is a bad thing at all.  My own choice is to work in a place like Borderlands but I love to shop in a place like Dark Carnival.  It's like a treasure hunt and I never know what I'm going to find.  It's weird, wild, and full of surprises.  (Like some of the oddest plastic toys I've run across.  They're in baskets all over the place.)

It was in stores like Dark Carnival that my love of bookstores and SF started.  Back in the day, SF specialty stores were all like Jack's shop.  If you've never visited a shop like that, you're missing something vital and true about bookselling and SF & fantasy.  Years of attrition have chewed away at those shops so that now I only know of two, for real, old-school science fiction bookshops -- Dark Carnival, and Uncle Hugo's in Minneapolis.

And now it looks like Jack can use a little bit of help.  From his website -

"To our staunch supporters-
It's thanks to all of you that we're still here.
Please, If you have any shopping to do, now and for the holidays, do some of it here.  Pull a friend in the door, show them our stores.  Give someone a gift certificate, or just buy one for yourself as a way to get us some working capital.
No other way to say this. We need your help.
Please shop at Dark Carnival Bookstore and Escapist Comics.
We need you."

So, this month, give a present to the book business, your fellow readers, and everyone else who cares about SF, fantasy, and horror (including me) -- take a trip to Berkeley's lovely Claremont neighborhood and visit Dark Carnival.


PS  Here's a great profile of the shop. -

PPS  Two other things I admire about Dark Carnival - their sign is so very, very cool. And, they've got _way_ more books than we do.  Like three times more.

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Top Sellers At Borderlands

1) Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
2) S.: Includes Loose Page Inserts Contributing to the Story by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams
3) Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
4) Rags and Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt
5) Parasite by Mira Grant
6) The Circle by Dave Eggers
7) Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
8) The Abominable by Dan Simmons
9) Trade Secret by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
10) Jupiter War by Neal Asher

1) A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
2) Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
3) Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
4) Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) by Philip K. Dick
5) Daylight War by Peter Brett
6) Dream London by Tony Ballantyne
7) 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
8) Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
9) Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
10) The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick

Trade Paperbacks
1) Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
2) Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
3) Murder in the Marais by Cara Black
4) Metatropolis edited by John Scalzi
5) Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest

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Book Club Info

The QSF&F Book Club will meet on Sunday, January 12th, at 5 pm to discuss GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  Please contact the group leader, Christopher Rodriguez, at, for more information.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club will meet on Sunday, December 15th, at 6 pm to discuss DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? by Philip K. Dick.  The book for January is EMBASSYTOWN by China Mieville.  Please contact for more information.

Upcoming Event Details

Helene Wecker, THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI (Harper, Hardcover, $26.99 and Trade Paperback, $15.99) Monday, January 6th at 7:00 pm - We are very excited to welcome Helene Wecker to the store!  From the author's website: "An immigrant tale that combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, The Golem and the Jinni tells the story of two supernatural creatures who arrive separately in New York in 1899. One is a golem, created out of clay to be her masterís wife -- but he dies at sea, leaving her disoriented and overwhelmed as their ship arrives in New York Harbor. The other is a jinni, a being of fire, trapped for a thousand years in a copper flask before a tinsmith in Manhattanís Little Syria releases him.  Each unknown to the other, the Golem and the Jinni explore the strange and altogether human city. Chava, as a kind old rabbi names her, is beset by the desires and wishes of others, which she can feel tugging at her. Ahmad, christened by the tinsmith who makes him his apprentice, is aggravated by human dullness. Both must work to create places for themselves in this new world, and develop tentative relationships with the people who surround them.  And then, one cold and windy night, their paths happen to meet."  Learn more about the book, the author, and 1899 New York here:

Cassie Alexander, DEADSHIFTED (St. Martin's, Mass Market, $7.99) Saturday, Janauary 11th at 3:00 pm -  In the fourth Edie Spence novel, our favorite supernatural night-shift nurse is getting some well-deserved R&R on a cruise to Hawai'i, until the passengers start to come down with a mysterious illness that's unlike anything Edie has ever seen.  Don't miss this opportunity to meet real-life nurse Cassie Alexander and cheer for her scrappy heroine!

Richard Kadrey, DEAD SET (HarperVoyager, Hardcover, $22.99) Sunday, January 12th at 3:00 pm - Local favorite Richard Kadrey, author of the SANDMAN SLIM series, returns with a novel starring a wholly original set of characters.  From the book description: "After her fatherís funeral, Zoe moved to the big city with her mother to start over. But change always brings trials, and life in the city is not so easy. Money is tight, and Zoeís only escape, as has always been the case, is in her dreams -- a world apart from her troubled real life where can spend time with her closest companion: her lost brother, Valentine.  But something or someone has entered their dreamworld uninvited. And a chance encounter in a used record store, where the vinyl holds not music but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. Itís here that the shopís strange proprietor offers Zoe the chance to commune with her dead father. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. ThenÖ"

Rudy Rucker Art Show premiere and event for THE BIG AHA! (Transreal Press, Trade Paperback, $16.00) Friday, January 17th (time TBA) - We're always happy to host mathematician, professor, artist and surreal genius Rudy Rucker at Borderlands! Join us to check out his new book, THE BIG AHA!, in which "Biotech has replaced machines and Qrude artist Zad Plant works with living paint.  Careerís on the skids, wife Jane threw him out.  Enter qwet -- itís quantum wetware!  Qwet makes you high, and gives you telepathy.  A loofy psychedelic revolution begins.  Oh-oh! Mouths in midair, eating people!  Zad and Jane travel through a wormhole -- and meet the aliens.  Stranger than you ever imagined." In addition to this fantastic and zany new book, Rudy will be showing off his newest artwork, which will be on display in the Cafe.

Scott Sigler, PANDEMIC (Crown, Hardcover, $26.00) Saturday, January 18th at 3:00 pm - Help us give a warm welcome to the Future Dark Overlord, Scott Sigler!  PANDEMIC wraps up Scott's INFECTED trilogy.  Here's the synopsis from Scott's website: Scott Siglerís INFECTED shocked readers with a visceral, up-close account of physical metamorphosis and one manís desperate fight for sanity and survival, as ďScaryĒ Perry Dawsey suffered the impact of an alien pathogenís early attempts at mass extinction. In the sequel CONTAGIOUS, Sigler pulled back the camera and let the reader experience the frantic national response to this growing cataclysm.  And now in PANDEMIC, the entire human race balances on the razorís edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares. . . . Part Cthulhu epic, part zombie apocalypse and part blockbuster alien-invasion tale, PANDEMIC completes the INFECTED trilogy and sets a new high water mark in the world of horror fiction."

Borderlands event policy - all events are free of charge unless otherwise stated.  You are welcome to bring copies of an author's books purchased elsewhere to be autographed (but we do appreciate it if you purchase something while at the event).  For most events you are welcome to bring as many books as you wish for autographs.  If you are unable to attend the event we will be happy to have a copy of any of the author's available books signed or inscribed for you.  We can then either hold the book(s) until you can come in to pick them up or we can ship to you.  Just give us a call or drop us an email.  If you live out of town, you can also ship us books from your collection to be signed for a nominal fee.  Call or email for details.

Dispatches from the Border
Editor - Jude Feldman
Assistant Editor - Alan Beatts

All contents unless otherwise noted are the property of

Borderlands Books
866 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA  94110

Comments and suggestions should be directed to


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